Hungary: NATO Backs World’s First Multinational Strategic Airlift Hub
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Tranformation
April 23, 2013
SACT on visit to Hungary: A key NATO ally in Central Europe
Written by ACT PAO
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), French Air Force General Jean-Paul Palomeros, visited Hungary on April 19.
General Palomeros praised Hungary as “…an invaluable member of the Alliance that has shown its full capability to fulfil duties and obligations of a NATO member”. Palomeros also expressed his appreciation for Hungary’s support to Smart Defence and CFI.
During his visit, which was hosted by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Tibor Benko he also met the Minister of Defence, Mr Csaba Hende and Mr Peter Sztaray, Deputy State Secretary responsible for security policy. Additionally, SACT took part in a roundtable meeting with senior Defence Staff to discuss the national transformation and planned modernisation of the Hungarian Defence Forces, ‘Smart Defence’, and the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI).
Regarding Smart Defence, he explained that “Multinational cooperation already exists and is sometimes working very well,” praising the success of the Strategic Airlift Capability consortium of 12 nations (10 allies and 2 partners) in which Hungary is fully involved as the host nation for Papa Air Base.
Speaking about CFI, General Palomeros thanked Hungary for the involvement in Steadfast Jazz, a live traiПing event that will take place in the fall of 2013 in Poland and the Baltic states.
The discussion was also the opportunity to highlight the active role of Hungary in the development of regional partnerships in both central Europe and through the Visegrad Group (an alliance of four Central European states: The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia).
[He] saluted the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) for having proven their commitment and expertise, particularly in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
SACT also took the opportunity to visit the HDF Non Commissioned Officers (NCO) Academy where he discussed the involvement of Hungary in support of ongoing operations. General Palomeros praised Hungary for the country’s continuous involvement – especially with the support to C-IED [Counter Improvised Explosive Devices] traiПing and as the host nation of the Military Medical Centre of Excellence, which aims to improve medical capacity and capability through multinational interoperability and standardisation.
Before departing, General Palomeros expressed satisfaction with the productive talks and said that he looked forward to increased cooperation between Hungary and ACT.